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Keep Perspective On Your Problems

Do your problems ever seem bigger than they really are?

It could be a wonderful day filled with opportunities and fascinating connections with other people and someone we get fixed on a problem that gives us permission to feel unhappy. That seems like a poor choice to me.

I've done it though. Have you?

One thing I've learned about my problems -- even as I work to solve them -- is to keep them in perspective. Compared to other problems, how do they look? Compared to other people's situations, how dire is this really? Especially knowing that with the right process and resources I'll be no doubt solving my problem, what exactly is troubling me?

I served for a while as a volunteer fire fighter. There's nothing quite like moving into a burning building or carrying a power saw on a roof to cut a hole in the top so the fire can get out to give you a sense of perspective. Suddenly, the little problems of the day fade away.

My oldest son is a paramedic. Every time I hear an ambulance siren it reminds me of his work: facing emergencies, rushing to help people at the worst moment in their lives. Working to save the lives of people with really serious problems.

I also remember, when I hear those sirens,, that somewhere somebody has a bigger problem than me.

A sense of positive perspective might not solve your problem -- but it can certainly keep it from ruining your day.

How is your perspective doing today?

-- Doug Smith


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